Maximizing Investment Through Wise Construction Choices.

Commercial flat roofs hover somewhere out in the peripheral vision of commercial building owners. Too often, we treat this critical component of one of our most valuable assets as a mere checkbox in our budget sheets. 

When it’s time to address a flat roof replacement, building owners all too often lean towards quick fixes, lower-cost materials, and inexperienced contractors unaware that these short-sighted decisions could be paving the way to long-term financial burdens (or worse). 

In this blog, we’ll explain how replacing your commercial roof with quality materials and experienced craftsmanship can streamline your expenses over the years, fortifying not just your roof, but your financial health as well. 

The Cost of Cutting Corners

The allure of cutting costs by opting for cheaper materials or labor is understandable. The bottom line is a relentless dictator of business decisions, and the seemingly pricey route of using superior materials can appear unjustifiable. However, the initial outlay is just the visible half of the equation. 

Short-Term Savings, Long-Term Losses

Skimping on roofing materials might reduce your immediate expenses, but the savings are a mirage. Inferior materials often break down more rapidly, leading to a domino effect of escalated repair costs, not to mention potential damage to your commercial property’s interior and its contents.  

Deferred Maintenance—A Deferred Disaster

Another common pitfall is delaying regular roof maintenance. When repairs are postponed or overlooked, the bill will eventually come due—with interest. A small leak, if left unattended, can result in comprehensive water damage, mold growth, and possibly even structural issues.  

Unforeseen Costs After Low-Quality Installations

The repercussions of a subpar installation can be grave. Poorly laid roofing can result in a reduced lifespan, ongoing maintenance needs, and significantly higher utility bills due to diminished thermal performance.  

The Value of Quality Materials

Investing in high-quality roofing materials constitutes an investment in your business’s resilience and longevity.  

Durability as a Dollar Saver

While initially more expensive, high-grade materials often boast significantly longer lifespans. Compared to the frequent repairs necessitated by substandard materials, these durable options safeguard your budget.  

Weather Resistance—Guarding Your Assets

Your roof is a frontline defense against Mother Nature. Quality materials engineered for resilience against specific weather conditions not only reduce the frequency of repairs but also ensure your business operations remain undisturbed during a downpour or heavy snowfall.  

Energy Efficiency—The Overlooked Expense

A well-insulated, energy-efficient roof carries utility savings that compound over time. They regulate interior temperatures more effectively, reducing strain on climate control systems and lowering your monthly energy costs.  

The Role of Experience in Roofing

When it comes to commercial flat roofing, experience isn’t just a bonus—it’s essential. An expert hand can foresee challenges, understand the intricacies of different materials, and best strategize for your roof’s unique needs. 

Proactive Maintenance—Predicting the Future

Experience in the roofing domain enables contractors to implement proactive maintenance, identifying and rectifying issues before they spiral into substantial costs.  

Warranty Woes—Navigating the Fine Print

Proficiency with various materials and manufacturers allows roofing service providers to guide you through warranty requirements, ensuring you reap the benefits of comprehensive coverage without inadvertently voiding it.  

Longevity through Expertise

An experienced professional can extend the life of your roof and delay the need for a costly replacement through expert repairs and maintenance. In contrast, novices may unwittingly accelerate the decline of your asset.  

Case Studies – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Here, we’ll examine the journeys of three businesses with three very different approaches to their roof replacement projects.  

The Good – A Retail Oasis

In the bustling heart of Uptown in South Minneapolis, a retail store known as Urban Blooms (not it’s real name) made a pivotal decision that would set it apart from numerous short-sighted businesses in its vicinity. Initially daunted by the sticker shock of high-end roofing options, the owners of Urban Blooms eventually opted for a premium, energy-efficient flat roof system, backed by the expertise of a renowned roofing contractor with decades of experience.  

The decision was driven by a vision of long-term savings and sustainability. Within the first year, the benefits of this choice became unmistakably clear. Thanks to the superior insulation of their chosen roofing materials, Urban Blooms observed a remarkable reduction in their energy bills, amounting to a 30% decrease in annual operating costs related to heating and cooling. This was a direct result of the roof’s ability to maintain internal temperatures with minimal energy expenditure. 

Furthermore, the quality of craftsmanship meant that the roof withstood the test of time and elements far beyond its initial life expectancy. Where most commercial roofs in the area required significant repairs or complete replacements within a decade, Urban Blooms found their investment paying dividends well into the future, with only minimal maintenance needed to keep the roof in optimal condition.  

The foresight of choosing quality over initial cost not only allowed Urban Blooms to flourish in a competitive market but also positioned them as a testament to the value of investing in sustainability and expertise. Fifteen years down the line, the roof shows little sign of wear, a stark contrast to the frequent roofing projects seen on neighboring buildings. Urban Blooms stands as a beacon of wise investment, showcasing that the upfront cost of quality can indeed pave the way to substantial savings and operational efficiency. 

The Bad – Office Complex Regret

In a bid to cut immediate costs, a multi-tenant office complex in Maple Grove, Minnesota decided to employ a relatively unknown commercial roofing contractor for their flat roof replacement. Attracted by significantly lower quotes and assurances of quality, the management overlooked the contractor’s lack of proven experience and the absence of solid references. Initially, the project appeared to be a success, and the office complex boasted about substantially reducing its capital outlay. However, the joy was short-lived. Within a year, tenants began to report leaks, especially after heavy rainfalls, leading to damage to interior spaces and discontent among the occupants. 

Repeated attempts to rectify the issues resulted in mounting repair bills, as each “fix” proved to be a temporary solution. The contractor’s initial work did not come with a reliable warranty, leaving the complex’s management to shoulder the escalating costs. A comprehensive inspection by a reputable roofing firm eventually revealed that the installation had not adhered to industry standards, and the materials used were of inferior quality and poorly suited to the building’s geographical area and climate. 

The financial strain of ongoing repairs, coupled with the negative impact on tenant satisfaction and the building’s reputation, led the management to make a difficult decision. Within just three years of the initial replacement, they opted for a partial roof replacement, this time selecting a contractor with a proven track record and using high-quality materials. This second, more costly endeavor corrected the previous shoddy work but came at a high price, both financially and in terms of the office complex’s market position. This case painfully illustrates the long-term financial hazards and operational disruptions that can arise from prioritizing short-term savings over quality and expertise. 

The Ugly – Roof Collapse

In an attempt to economize on costs, the owner of a commercial building in St. Paul—a bustling local supermarket—was enticed by a “too good to be true” bid for their flat roof replacement. The contractor, markedly cheaper than competitors and promising similar quality, completed the project swiftly, leaving the owner initially satisfied with the savings achieved. However, this satisfaction was short-lived. Almost immediately, the new roof began to exhibit issues, with leaks appearing at multiple points after even minor rainfalls. 

Despite multiple patch-up repairs, the problems persisted, eroding the owner’s profits through continuous maintenance expenses and damage to the merchandise within. The situation turned dire five years into the roof’s lifespan when an unusually heavy snowfall overwhelmed the compromised structure. The roof’s collapse was catastrophic, causing extensive damage to the building and forcing the supermarket to close its doors for months for repairs. 

Efforts to seek recourse from the original contractor hit a dead end when it was discovered the company had gone out of business, leaving the building owner with no option but to absorb much of the colossal repair costs and lost revenue. Because the roof installer had guaranteed the roof for 15 years, the owner elected not to insure the roof for full replacement value, thinking the warranty would protect them.  

The impact extended beyond finances; the closure led to a significant loss of clientele, many of whom turned to competitors and did not return. This calamitous event starkly highlighted the peril of choosing a contractor based solely on price, without due diligence on their expertise and reliability. The owner’s pursuit of upfront cost savings ended in a far costlier outcome, emphasizing the importance of investing in quality and proven experience for commercial roofing projects. 

The Value of Quality and Expertise

The examples above serve as cautionary tales, illustrating the potential consequences of prioritizing cost over quality and expertise in commercial roofing. As seen from Urban Blooms’ success story, investing in a reputable contractor and high-quality materials can yield significant long-term benefits, including energy savings, minimal maintenance costs, and enhanced market position. On the other hand, the “bad” and “ugly” scenarios demonstrate how choosing a cheaper but inexperienced contractor can result in ongoing headaches, financial strain, and even catastrophic events that far outweigh the initial cost savings. 

Businesses must make wise investments to ensure long-term success. When it comes to commercial roofing, this means prioritizing quality and expertise over short-term cost savings. By doing so, businesses can avoid the costly and damaging consequences of poor roofing decisions and instead reap the rewards of a durable, efficient, and reliable roof. So when faced with the choice between cutting costs or choosing quality, always remember: it’s better to invest upfront than to pay dearly in the long run.  

The Best – Mint Roofing

With almost 75 years of industry experience in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, Mint Roofing has a proven track record of excellence in commercial roofing projects. Our team of skilled professionals is committed to delivering top-quality workmanship, using only the best materials and adhering to industry standards. 

At Mint Roofing, we understand that a roof is an investment in your business’s success and longevity. That’s why we offer comprehensive services, including inspections, maintenance, repairs, and full roof replacements, to ensure your roof remains in top condition for years to come. We also offer flexible financing options to help businesses manage the cost of their roofing projects. 

Don’t compromise on quality when it comes to your commercial roofing needs. Choose Mint Roofing for a durable, efficient, and long-lasting solution that will protect your business and its assets. Contact us today for a consultation and see why we are the best choice for commercial roofing in the Twin Cities.  


Can I still save money while choosing a reputable contractor for my commercial roofing project?

You can still save money in the long run by investing upfront in a reputable contractor and high-quality materials. By avoiding ongoing repair costs and potential catastrophic events, businesses can actually save more money over time. 

Is it worth it to spend more on quality and expertise for a commercial roofing project?

Absolutely. As seen in Urban Blooms’ success story and the cautionary tales of poor roofing decisions, investing in quality and expertise can have significant long-term benefits for businesses, including energy savings, minimal maintenance costs, and enhanced market position. 

What are some red flags to look out for when choosing a commercial roofing contractor?

Some red flags to look out for include significantly lower bids compared to other contractors, lack of experience or references, and poor communication and customer service. It’s important to thoroughly research and vet potential contractors before making a decision.  

Can a poor roofing decision have long-term consequences for a business?

Absolutely. Poor roofing decisions can lead to ongoing headaches, financial strain, and even catastrophic events that can significantly impact a business’s reputation and bottom line. 

How important is it to conduct due diligence before choosing a commercial roofing contractor?

Conducting due diligence is crucial when selecting a commercial roofing contractor. This means researching their experience, qualifications, and references, as well as thoroughly reviewing the contract and any warranties offered. By doing so, businesses can ensure they are investing in a reputable and reliable contractor for their roofing project.